In every First Degree class, Hawayo Takata emphasized that Reiki was meant for everyone and was compatible with all religions and spiritual practices. She pointed out that Reiki had no specific dogma, only five   principles that were reflected in all great religions.Just for today, do not anger.

Just for today, do not worry.
Just for today, do not anger.
Honor your parents, teachers and elders.
Earn your living honestly.
Show gratitude to every living thing.

“. . . there can be no doubt that the Reiki method will last for a long time and spread around the world,” are the final words on the memorial stone of Mikao Usui, founder of Reiki. It’s easy to imagine that the students who authored his memorial stone were echoing the vision of their teacher.

For many who practice Reiki, healing and a deep awareness of Spirit go hand in hand. People of faith often marvel at the subtle ways in which Reiki strengthens and deepens their relationship with the Divine. It is common that both people of faith and those of no specific faith tradition treasure the sense of deep connection with all life that comes through giving Reiki to themselves and others.

Regardless of our background or beliefs, Reiki bridges the separation that divides us—from one another and from the sacred presence in all of life. Given the diversity of practitioners, it’s no surprise that we language this shared experience differently. Every one of us has our own way of describing our Reiki experience, and our understanding is framed by our beliefs about the meaning of life.

When we hold our views so tightly that we allow no room for others to express and practice their beliefs, the result is disharmony, conflict, even war. How wonderful that there are ways of crossing those divides and finding commonality. Reiki is one of those ways.


Nine years ago, the American Council of Catholic Bishops issued a statement discouraging Catholics from practicing Reiki. My husband Paul is a practicing Catholic. He wrote each of the bishops serving on the committee, speaking from his vantage point as a Catholic, thirty-one year Reiki practitioner, and student of Hawayo Takata. If you’d like to read his letter, go to